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How Long Does Cyclobenzaprine Last, and Can It Give You a Good Night’s Sleep?

How Long Does Cyclobenzaprine Last, and Can It Give You a Good Night’s Sleep?

Imagine this—you’re in the thick of a high-stakes project at work, your mind buzzing with ideas and a determination to exceed expectations. But there’s a hitch—your nights have been restless, and you’re worried your performance may take a hit.

If that’s the case, you might consider various solutions—having a soothing cup of chamomile and lemon tea before bed, smelling lavender, or taking medications like Ambien and Belsomra. Still, finding an effective treatment can be a hurdle due to the many options available. You might even visit a specialist who suggests a medication you wouldn’t expect to treat sleep issues—cyclobenzaprine.

Initially designed to offer relief from muscle pain and injury, this drug can also be used in treating sleep problems. But how long does cyclobenzaprine last, and can you use it as a long-term aid? We’ll explain the medicine’s mechanism of action, effects, duration, and proper dosage for safe use.

How Long Does Cyclobenzaprine Last for Sleep?

Cyclobenzaprine typically kicks in within 30–60 minutes of administration. The drug reaches peak concentration in the body after around four hours for immediate-release tablets and about seven hours for the extended-release formula.

Immediate-release cyclobenzaprine is most commonly prescribed for sleep issues since its effects subside around 4–6 hours after you take it, providing ample time for sleep.

The duration of cyclobenzaprine’s effects depends on several factors, including the following:

  • Age—Elderly people (65+) have slower metabolism, leading to retention of the drug and consequently longer duration of the effects
  • Body weight—Patients with higher body mass may experience the drug’s effects for a longer time
  • Health history—Patients with liver and kidney diseases may feel cyclobenzaprine’s effect longer than usual
  • Dosage—Larger doses require more time to metabolize and eliminate, so they may extend the duration of this medication’s effects
  • Taking other medications—Some drugs can inhibit the enzymes that metabolize cyclobenzaprine, prolonging its effects

How Long Does Cyclobenzaprine Stay in Your System?

Source: cottonbro studio

The time a drug stays in the body is measured in half-lives—the period it takes for the concentration of the drug in the body to reduce by half. 

Cyclobenzaprine has a typical half-life of about 18 hours, but it can range between 8–37 hours. In healthy patients who take moderate doses, it takes 4–5 days for the drug to get metabolized and eliminated from the system. Keep in mind that this period may increase to eight days for elderly patients or those with kidney or liver disease. Still, patients who experience the medication’s effects for more than a week after discontinuing treatment should seek immediate medical attention.

Cyclobenzaprine Dosage Guidelines

Cyclobenzaprine is available in five doses:

  1. 5 mg
  2. 7.5 mg
  3. 10 mg
  4. 15 mg
  5. 30 mg

The typical starting dose for treating sleep issues is 5 mg daily for immediate-release tablets. For the extended-release formula, the initial dose is 15 mg daily, which may be increased to 30 mg daily based on the patient’s response.  

Your doctor may recommend taking the medication at least 30 minutes before bed to allow the effects to kick in on time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible unless it's close to the time for the next dose. You should follow your healthcare provider’s guidelines on the dosage to benefit from the drug’s full potential.

How Long Should You Take Cyclobenzaprine for Sleep?

Cyclobenzaprine is typically prescribed for short-term use, usually for a maximum of three weeks. There’s not enough information to claim that it’s effective in the long-term treatment of sleep disorders.

The medication doesn’t belong to the group of controlled substances and doesn’t carry the risk of addiction. Still, patients who use it for a longer time than prescribed may develop tolerance and psychological dependence.

Is Cyclobenzaprine Effective for Sleep Issues?

Cyclobenzaprine can alleviate sleep problems—clinical studies show that the drug increases sleep time while reducing fatigue, helping users wake up re-energized.

Still, sleep disorders can stem from various factors, so a single medication may only help to some extent. Effective treatment entails prescription medications and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) best practices to address the causes and reach a sustainable solution to your sleep problems.

The main challenge is that less than 1% of doctors are trained in sleep medicine, so seeing an expert who can design an efficient treatment plan can mean waiting a long time.

Kick, an online performance medicine clinic, offers an innovative solution to this challenge. 

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Kick—Restful Nights, Joyful Mornings

Led by a Stanford sleep specialist, Dr. Alex Dimitriu, Kick’s sleep program connects you with experts in sleep medicine in no time. Convenience is a key feature of the program—you can consult sleep doctors remotely and begin treatment within a few days. 

Our experts tailor the treatment to your sleep issues and health history and adjust the medications if you don’t achieve the desired results within the first two weeks. You also receive tips on healthy sleep habits, helping you address the cognitive-behavioral factors contributing to your sleepless nights.

If your designated specialist decides you’re not a good candidate for the treatment, they’ll refer you to your healthcare provider and you won’t pay for the initial consultation as per our Doctor Guarantee.

Getting Started With Kick

Starting your journey to restful nights with Kick is straightforward and only takes 15 minutes. The process is as follows:

  1. Go to our signup page to begin your sleep visit
  2. Complete the sleep intake form to help us understand your sleep issue and medical history
  3. Fill out your delivery details—you can choose home delivery or your nearest local pharmacy
  4. Provide your payment details

Our specialist will review your medical information within 24 hours and prescribe two trial drugs that you’ll alternate to ensure you’re getting effective treatment and reduce the chances of developing psychological dependence. Our medications are fast-acting and include the following options:

  1. Cyclobenzaprine
  2. Doxepin
  3. Gabapentin
  4. Hydroxyzine
  5. Trazodone
  6. Ramelteon

Our comprehensive treatment plan has helped many patients reclaim their nights—an accolade of positive testimonials on Trustpilot is a testament to what we’ve achieved together.

Source: xiangying_xu 

Potential Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine carries the risk of side effects. While most of them are manageable and can be avoided by following your healthcare provider’s instructions, some are rare and may point to an overdose or another underlying medical condition.

The most common side effects of this medication are:

  • Drowsiness—Take the drug at bedtime to benefit from its sedative effects and avoid tasks that require sharp focus if drowsiness persists
  • Dry mouth—Can be alleviated by drinking water
  • Dizziness—Rise slowly from sitting or lying positions to reduce the risk of accidental falls
  • Blurred vision—Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until this effect subsides
  • Stomach upset—Take the medication with food if cyclobenzaprine hurts your stomach
  • Difficulty focusing—Consult your doctor for further steps

Rare but Severe Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine

Patients who experience the following side effects should inform their primary care physicians immediately:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Unusual thoughts or dreams
  • Hallucinations
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

Alternatives to Cyclobenzaprine

Depending on your medical history, your healthcare provider may decide you’re not the best candidate for cyclobenzaprine. In such instances, they may recommend alternatives presented in the following table:



Duration of Effects

Duration of Treatment


Used for short-term treatment of sleep issues due to anxiety

6–12 hours

2–4 weeks to reduce the risk of dependence


Suitable for occasional sleeplessness

4–6 hours

Not more than two weeks


Can be used for the management of sleep issues due to anxiety

2–3 hours, increasing to 8–12 hours when taken consistently

Can be used short-term and long-term


Used for short-term treatment of sleep problems

6–12 hours

Consult your doctor for specific guidelines


Can be used for short-term relief from sleeplessness

4–6 hours

Maximum 2 weeks


Can be used for short or long-term treatment of sleep issues due to anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder

About 6 hours

Consult your healthcare provider for more details


Not typically used for sleep issues, but can be used off-label

3–4 hours



Can be used for the management of sleep disorders due to anxiety, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy

2–3 hours

Can be used both short- and long-term—your doctor may need to review your progress every 6–12 months


Not typically used for insomnia, but prescribed off-label

8–12 hours

Can be used for the long-term term treatments


Used for short-term treatment of insomnia due to anxiety or depression

6–8 hours

Consult your healthcare provider for specific guidelines


Can be used for short-term relief from sleeplessness due to anxiety

4–6 hours

Maximum 4 weeks


Used for the treatment of sleep issues

About 6 hours

4–10 weeks


Used for the treatment of sleep disorders

5–8 hours

Can be used for long-term treatments


Used off-label for short-term relief from sleeplessness

4–6 hours

Maximum 3–4 months


Used for treatment of sleep-onset insomnia

About 6 hours

Consult your healthcare provider for specific guidelines


Can be used for the treatment of sleep-maintenance insomnia

Up to 8 hours

Maximum 4–8 weeks

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Your healthcare provider may suggest combining the alternatives or using other medications not included above.

Cyclobenzaprine—Drug, Food, and Condition Interactions

Cyclobenzaprine can interact with other drugs, food, supplements, and health conditions, contributing to the risk of side effects. You should inform your doctor before taking this drug with other substances.

Potential Interaction With Other Drugs and Food

You can find the details on the potential cyclobenzaprine interaction with other drugs and food in the table below:

Type of Drug/Food


What Can Happen

Blood pressure medication

ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin II receptor blockers

Can enhance the risk of low blood pressure

Cholesterol-lowering medication


The potential for interaction is low but can’t be ruled out


Trazodone, Cymbalta (duloxetine), Amitriptyline

Can raise the risk of side effects like sleepiness, dry mouth, and serotonin syndrome

Muscle relaxants

Lioresal (baclofen), Zanaflex (tizanidine)

Can contribute to the risk of drowsiness


Seroquel (quetiapine), Risperdal (Risperidone), Olanzapine

Can raise the risk of seizures


Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Vistaril (hydroxyzine)

Can enhance the sedative effects

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)


Potential for interaction is low but can’t be ruled out

Opioids (narcotics analgesics)


Can raise the risk of seizures and respiratory distress


Alcoholic beverages

Can enhance the risk of side effects like dizziness and drowsiness

Source: tmeier1964

Potential Interaction With Health Conditions

Patients with the following medical conditions should avoid cyclobenzaprine:

  • Heart disease
  • Recent heart attack
  • Liver disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Late pregnancy

You should consult your healthcare provider if you’re suffering from any medical condition or you’re considering giving the drug to a patient under 15. They’ll determine whether cyclobenzaprine is safe and recommend the appropriate dosage to ensure effective treatment.

Featured image source: Uriel Mont